Monday, November 29, 2004

Countdown Begins: U.S. Destruction of Brilliant British Import Takes Shape

Fresh off the great job NBC did adapting the brit-com Coupling, details of the U.S. Version of The Office have begun to seep out from their containment receptacles.

We love Steve Carrell. Really, we do. But how can this possibly be any good?

Oh well. We'll always have the DVDs, until NBC figures out a way to ruin those too (reports say they have staff scientists working on it this very minute).

Network Intent on Replacing D'Onofrio with Mr. Big?

With Vincent D'Onofrio gettin' all Kubrick and shit on the set of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, is Chris Noth about to make a triumphant, if temporary, return to the franchise that cast him aside like trash 9 years ago?

We suggest taking it one step further, and pair him back up with Jerry Orbach's Lenny Briscoe on the new midseason spinoff, Law and Order: Trial By Judge Judy or whatever it's called.

Lauer, Russert on CBS's Rather Replacement Roster; Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy next?

Will CBS raid NBC to fill its top anchor slot? Newsweek reports the pie-in-the-sky Black Eye is looking at follically challenged Matt Lauer and pouting pitbull Tim Russert to replace current managing editor and fiction author Dan Rather.

Seems like pure fantasy to us. Why would either of these guys leave their cushy, long-term gigs to join sinking CBS News (besides to grab gobs and gobs of Viacom green)? Lauer's too lightweight for the big chair, although he'd single-handedly lower the average age of CBS Correspondents by 17 years. And Russert's about tearing assholes, not reading prompter copy.

Monday's 99 Word Review: "Arrested Development"

Editor's note: We like to keep TVGeekSpeak a quick read, so this is the premiere of our new "99 Word Review." Each review will be, oddly enough, exactly 99 words, and not an expletive more- we promise. Why 99 words? Other than the fact that it sounds good, and that we always found that 100th word to be kind of a nuisance, no reason. Enjoy!

We’ve seen the trajectory so-called “smart” comedies follow: sitcoms without laugh tracks or coffee shops with big couches are doomed to fail. It’s a shame, because Arrested Development oozes laughs- subtle, slapstick, and just plain silly. With the stellar cast (led by Jason Bateman) mining ethnicity, sexual preference, and even incest for yuks, it isn’t for everyone. But I kinda like feeling like there’s a show on that’s produced just for me. Like the often brilliant Scrubs, it’ll probably never be a massive hit. Who knows- maybe this time, a great show will survive. I’m not holding my breath.

TVGS Rating: 4 test patterns out of 4

"Arrested Development" airs Sunday Nights at 8:30 et/pt, often delayed by football, on FOX.

Inmates Line Up to Make Martha their Lunch-bitch

The food may be crap, but it seems the other felons are digging the company from fallen domestic diva Martha Stewart, especially one loose-lipped nun doing hard time alongside her.

Maybe she's discovered The Lord in the Big House and will be kinder to her fellow man upon her release?

Cheers alum denies attempting to off herself

Here comes the spin: Now, former Cheers star Shelley Long denies that she attempted suicide, and says she had a reaction from taking an extra pain pill for her back.

Sounds like a hell of a prescription to me. Hook me with some of those, yo!